Native Plants Group celebrates Larry Michalove’s birthday
Posts Tagged ‘Betsy Fleenor’
Rite of Spring
By: Betsy Fleenor, volunteer
It happens every spring. The new year dawns, and the new seeds are sown. Always with this goal: grow plants that will be large enough and interesting enough to catch your eye at the spring plant sale. No tender seedlings will do come April. We are looking for robust, healthy plants with a good root system, lots of leaves and we wouldn’t argue about a flower bud or two.
For the volunteers who work with the volunteer propagation groups at The Gardens, work goes on year round preparing the plants for your buying pleasure. But things really start to heat up once the new year arrives. For those growing native plants, it’s time to delve into the rich storehouse of seeds collected from the Kaul Wildflower Garden and pre-treated in various ways. Some are sprinkled, others carefully placed in their soil-filled trays topped with a thin layer of granite chicken grit to improve their chances.
Weeks spent on the mist tables located in the plant sale greenhouse eventually provide the perfect environment for the green miracle. The lifeless, brown seeds are touched with the vital moisture, warmth and light that cause them to germinate.
At first the specks of green are nearly microscopic. Was that a dot of green I saw or not? Soon eyes adjust to the microenvironment and indeed, that dot was just one of hundreds of barely perceptible green dots. They’re off and running!
As the weeks wear on, first leaves give way to true leaves, and roots start to explore the soil. Soon it’s time to rudely tease them from their seed trays into their first individual pots. Volunteers carefully prick out the most tender, pull apart the more robust, and take them to the next step on their journey from seed to sale.
(L to R: Director of Library Services Hope Long, Cathy Adams, Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele)
Volunteers honored at annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens luncheon
On Thursday, December 13, Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, recognizing the time donated by those that assist in the achievement of The Gardens’ educational mission. Cathy Adams was presented the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award for her continual service in many areas of the organization and her significant impact on The Gardens. Ann Katholi was awarded the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero of the Year for her independent and “behind the scenes” contributions. Birmingham Audubon Society was recognized as the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Partner of the Year for helping The Gardens to multiply its effort and achieve its mission. Betsy Fleenor was awarded the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plantperson of the Year for sharing her plant knowledge and skills with other individuals who volunteer. Sallie Lee was awarded Educator of the Year for her educational efforts promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment.
The potluck luncheon was held in Strange Auditorium from 11:30 – 1 p.m. Music was provided by the Crestwood Trio.
(L to R: Betsy Fleenor, Ann Katholi, Sallie Lee, Ty Keith, Helena Uber-Wamble (Keith and Uber-Wamble are with Birmingham Audubon Society))
Pictured, Left to Right: Peggy Horne, Nancy Nash, Jan Holliday, Betsy Fleenor, Larry Michaelove, Biddy Osbun, Anne Parrish, Bill Burnham, Linda Widner
Native Plants Group Volunteers – WE WANT YOU!
Meeting on Wednesday mornings at 9 am, this group works to produce the thousands of native plants sold at The Gardens’ plant sales. These sales (held in the Spring and Fall) serve as two of the year’s largest fundraisers at The Gardens.
Sessions usually last from 1 ½ to 2 hours. Along the way, we become familiar with a large number of natives and their growing requirements, and enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow gardeners. We meet in the “potting shed” located immediately behind the Conservatory. Our duties change throughout the year, with seed starting, taking cuttings, potting up seedlings and nursery-bought “plugs” and maintaining the plants being our concentration at various times. Other duties include data entry of records, participation in the plant sales, and use of organizational skills. Please wear clothes that are comfortable and that you don’t mind getting dirty. The potting shed tends to be hot in the summer and cool in the winter, so dress accordingly. Volunteers need to be reasonably physically fit to work with this group.
For more information on how you can get involved with The Native Plant Group here at The Gardens, contact Mary-Bestor Grant at 205.414.3962 or email@example.com
Come go native with us!